Ten Men's Elite Players to Watch at Vail Shootout
|Reigning national goaltender of
the year Austin Kaut from Penn State will be suiting up for
Lacrossewear at the 41st Vail Lacrosse Shootout.
© Kevin P. Tucker
Men's elite competition at the 41st Vail Lacrosse Shootout begins July 4 and ends July 7 with the championship game. This year's 16-team field in Colorado includes some incredible talent playing in what's regarded as one of the premier annual club lacrosse tournaments in the country. Lacrossewear, the 2012 runner-up and 2011 champion, is considered the favorite, and you can see a little bit why below. Last year's champ, Maverik Elite, is not participating.
The men's elite division plays with a 30-second shot clock and two-point arc.
Here are 10 players to watch:
Kyle Harrison, LXM Pro Tour M (Denver City Lax)
Harrison is a busy man, running camps all over the country and playing on the LXM Pro Tour. Last week he was in Kentucky. This week he's in Vail. The former Johns Hopkins star, now living in California, is a Team USA hopeful for the 2014 FIL World Championships. He's played in Team USA's "Duel in Denver" game against Canada last fall and against Loyola at Champion Challenge, the US Lacrosse event held annually Florida each February to kick off the spring season.
Sam Bradman, LXM Pro Tour M (Denver City Lax)
The last time I saw Bradman play in person he was busy winning most outstanding player honors at Champion Challenge. Bradman, the former star at Division III Salisbury, had three goals and two assists for Team USA that day, as it beat then-defending champion Loyola.
Austin Kaut, Penn State G (Lacrossewear)
Kaut won the USILA's top goaltender award this May and was named a first-team All-American. Lacrossewear has a pretty darn good backstop. He was also named the CAA's Player and Defensive Player of the Year, posting 61 percent save percentage (second in the nation) and a 7.37 goals against average (third best in the nation) to go with a career-high 194 saves. He had three 16-save games this year.
Goran Murray, Maryland D (Lacrossewear)
Murray has great speed and has covered some of the game's best offensive threats in his first two years at Maryland. In the four games he's been matched up with Duke's Jordan Wolf, for example, Murray has held him scoreless. Murray started all but one game for the Terps this year, scooping 19 ground balls and causing 13 turnovers.
Kieran McArdle, St. John's A (Lacrossewear)
Not a lot of people nationally have seen McArdle, but he finished second in the country in points per game this season with a gargantuan 6.54 average. The Long Island native has done this since high school when he was part of one the best Connetquot (N.Y.) High teams in recent memory.
Ty Thompson, Albany A (Jammin' Salmon)
One third of the famed Thompson trio that took the college lacrosse world by storm this year will be in Vail. Thompson will be a senior at Albany next year. He's the cousin of 2013 Tewaaraton Award finalist Lyle, and his brother, Miles.
Wells Stanwick, Johns Hopkins A (Lacrossewear)
The rising junior attackman from Baltimore led the Blue Jays in points (47) and assists (23) while finished second in goals (24) in 2013. A team with Stanwick and McArdle should be fun to watch.
Ryan Walsh, Colgate A (True Lacrosse Club)
The big — 6-foot-4, 217-pound — lefty attackman from Colgate by way of Wantagh (N.Y.) High on Long Island has started every game of his two-year college career and this year finished only one point shy of the team lead of 49 notched by 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum. Walsh put in 37 goals and had 11 assists this spring. He's got a big shot.
Jamie Faus, Denver G (Denver City Lax)/Ryan LaPlante, Denver G (All Out)
I'm listing Denver's goalie tandem as one player, as to not omit one over the other. This duo, which split time all season for the Pioneers, deserves as much. Faus joins Denver teammates Jeremy Noble and Terry Ellis of the Denver City Lax team. LaPlante is part of All Out, a first-year team that features a bunch of Division I players such as Billy Ward (Syracuse) and Torin Varn (Hofstra).
Mike Chanenchuk, Maryland M (Lacrossewear)
Chanenchuk was hobbled by injuries in 2012 and but got better as the 2013 season went and finished strong for the Terps, leading the team in goals (23). He finished second in points (37).